A Formula to Flourish

by DanWolgemuth on June 23, 2023

Something happened with name tags on, and assignments given. Something special. Something important.

Six grandchildren, two grandparents, a strong and focused supervisor, and a compelling vision. And again, something happened. The work was at the Food Bank of the Rockies. A large collection station in Denver that serves many food pantries across the community.  This is where large grocery chains send their expiring inventory.  An inventory that comes in banana boxes with a wide variety in each.

Cans. Bottles. Bags. Boxes… all together. Waiting to be separated and organized into bins… so that someday soon it can land on a kitchen table for expectant mouths in an under-resourced home.

For three hours we served. I walked over two miles between two rows, not more than 15 feet apart. But so did Graham, Davey, Desmond, Tess, Naomi, Rowan… and Mary. Back and forth. Up and down.

And when we were done, the delight was palpable. No trophies won. No home runs hit. No grades earned… just serving. The weak. The vulnerable.

Food reassigned. For three hours… we lived into the calling of Jesus. And something happened.

I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the way that Jesus lived and loved. It is what He modeled. It is what He commended. It is what He values. Service that gives birth to humility. And humility that reinvests in service.

Making much of others. Propelling ourselves into the chasm of need.

Think not that humility is weakness; it shall supply the morrow of strength to the bones. Stoop and conquer; bow thyself and become invincible.”  (Charles Spurgeon, The Saint and His Savior)

Jesus put it this way… “I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22:27)

“…meekness and lowliness of heart are to be the distinguishing feature of the disciple as they were of the Master.” (Andrew Murray, Humility)

Humility and service are not something we add to the bottom of our resume. They are the substance of our character. The fertile soil in which redemption and compassion and hope flourish.

For three hours we entered the space of Jesus. While we separated canned tuna from spaghetti. While we dug through a collection of rejected items to redeem them. To repurpose them. To commission them.

Humility nourished delight, and joy, and laughter, and hope. Humility connected us to the God who cares for the least of these.

Humility is an invitation to die to ourselves so that we can live in Christ.

While pride shines the light on ourselves, humility shines the light on God. Pride is the wide pathway to destruction. Humility, the narrow path to meaning and purpose.

Pride marches in the streets. Humility serves in the shadows. And yes, I saw it on all eight faces… sorting cans is serving Jesus. And that’s where delight explodes.

And in the days that have followed a question has been ringing in the ears of my soul… what if the body of Christ was marked by the single word… humility? Humble enough to serve. Humble enough to wash the feet of a traitor. Humble enough to love our enemies. Humble enough to live like Jesus.

What if?

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